Good old Arthur Ashe – one of the most important African Americans in the sports world. The first black man to win the singles title at Wimbledon, the US Open, and the Australian Open.
Good old Arthur Ashe – one of the most important African Americans in the sports world. The first black man to win the singles title at Wimbledon, the US Open, and the Australian Open. He won 3 Grand Slams making him the best tennis player in the world at the time.
When he contracted HIV through a blood transfusion in the early 80’s, he became an outspoken advocate for *sufferers of the disease and worked till he died in 1993 to help spread awareness.
And Richmond, his hometown, immortalized him in an absolutely terrifying statue. Yea know, the one on Monument with the guy holding books away from kids and threatening to beat them with a tennis racket?
Well the folks over at Mentalfloss put out a list of 10 Unintentionally Horrifying Statues of Famous People and the Ashe statue made number 3. Here’s what they had to say about it:
In 1996, Ashe’s hometown of Richmond erected a statue in his likeness on Monument Avenue despite controversy that the tennis great didn’t belong amid the existing congregation of Confederate icons. But the bronze memorial, cast by Paul di Pasquale, is bizarre for more than just its location. In an attempt to capture Ashe’s dedication to social activism, he is shown holding books and a tennis racket high above the outstretched arms of a gaggle of children, frozen forever in a state of seemingly mocking them for their lack of height.
For those of you interested in learning a bit more about Ashe and the amazing work he did, check out this video below. So when your friends ask “Why is that statue keeping these children from learning?” you can say “well, he was actually a really important person…”
*edited for clarification